Hacks

Coming up with eye-catching PPC headlines can make or break an Adwords PPC campaign. If your headline doesn’t pull the reader in to click your PPC text ad, you might as well save your money and enjoy the silence of an empty website. That is why experienced PPC marketers get paid the big bucks to craft enticing ad copy consisting of only a few dozen words.

What if you don’t currently have that kind of experience to get inside your customer’s head to know what will motivate them to click on your advertisement? Harness the collective experience of the public on Twitter to help you decide what headlines will work best for you. The micro-blogging format of Twitter is similar to PPC headlines in that you have a very limited amount of space to get your point across. No other medium requires the economy of brevity that Twitter does except PPC.

So how can you use Twitter to conduct an A/B test of two different headlines?

  1. Select fresh content. The process is to tweet links to the same content using two different headlines. Using existing content you have already tweeted may irritate some of your followers by the time they get the same content the fourth or fifth time.
  2. Craft two distinct headlines. You can test two completely different headlines of varying lengths or change only one or two words if you have a killer headline already in mind.
  3. Create two different short URLs to the same content from step 1 using your favorite URL shortener that includes analytics. If your shortener doesn’t provide analytics, use the Google URL Builder and Google Analytics to track the clicks each headline receives.
  4. Tweet headline A using one of the short URLs created and wait 12-24 hours.
  5. Tweet headline B using the other short URL. I prefer to tweet both headlines in the morning, one day apart. If you tweet them close in time together, you really will start to lose followers for spamming your list, so be aware.
  6. Watch your analytics for the next few days until a winner can be declared from which gets the most clicks. Depending on the number of followers and the amount of activity and interest you command it may take several days to a week to receive enough clicks to either one to reach statistical significance.

While this method isn’t a perfect solution for split testing headlines, it is a quick hack to get valuable feedback from hundreds of real people.

The cost? Fifteen minutes of your time.

The benefit? Real savings of your PPC budget.

If your Twitter followers are targeted to similar keywords as your PPC campaigns you should get more accurate results.

When you’re in your Adwords account looking for something to work on, make sure you have sorted by a column that is going to give you your most profitable/highest converting campaign/ad/keyword at the top of the list. These are the ones you should be spending your most time on optimizing. They are making you the most money.

By the same token, also sort by a column that will show you your biggest spenders at the top; the ad, keyword or campaign that has cost you the most money. Go through the top 10%-20% of your most expensive items. Look for any leaks, items that are costing more than the rest and bringing in less revenue. Modify these or turn them off.

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